Citizen Resources

 Citizen involvement is critical to the delivery of the Riparian Areas Regulation and supports the ministry in protecting fish habitat. 

Citizen Resources

The Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) protects watercourses where British Columbians live. It was created to help keep these watercourses healthy into the future, while supporting communities in their growth and development. 

If you live in a Regional District where the RAR applies, your local government is required to put in place standards for riparian protection. As the method of implementing the RAR is decided by the local government, this is done in a number of ways depending on the needs of the community. Some of the most commonly used methods for implementing the RAR include:

  • Development Permit Areas (DPAs)

  • Zoning Bylaw provisions

  • Watercourse or Environmental Protection bylaws

  • Municipal policies  

To better understand how your local government implements the RAR, visiting their website and reviewing information on environmental / watercourse protection is a good place to start. Staff at your local municipal hall can also assist. A listing of local government websites can be found at the Union of BC Municipalities member listing

If you wish to report an activity that is damaging habitat, please see For Immediate Habitat Impacts below.      

What to do when you have a question

 Application of the RAR is through a professional reliance model involving Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs) working in partnership with local governments and FLNRO (for more detail, see RAR Model). As RAR application involves a number of partners working independently but in concert, questions are best raised directly with the appropriate organization for the quickest response. As it is the Local Government’s role to approve development where they have jurisdiction, questions about specific development projects are best addressed to them. If you are planning a development and have questions on what is required to meet RAR requirements, you should also contact your Local Government’s planning or environmental departments. For questions about how the intent and purpose of the RAR, please contact the ministry.

Information on lodging a complaint

Information on how to pursue complaints or concerns pertaining to the RAR can be found in the Information Guide.

For immediate habitat impacts

Complaints about habitat impacts that are in progress and do not involve Development as defined by the RAR should be directed to the appropriate reporting avenues:
 
For violations of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Protection laws (that do not involve salmon) including pollution, please contact Report all Polluters and Poachers (RAPP) at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or Online
 
For Fisheries violations involving salmon and their habitats, please contact the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Observe, Record, Report (ORR) line at 1-800-465-4336
 
For spills of polluting substances, please contact Environmental Emergencies B.C. at 1-800-663-3456